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Lateralized Hemispheric Functioning

by Wejdan Alshalan
by

Wejdan Alshalan

on 20 April 2013

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Transcript of Lateralized Hemispheric Functioning

Lateralized Hemispheric Functioning Left-hemisphere Specializations Right side body control
Spoken and written language
Numerical and scientific skills
Reasoning Right-hemisphere specializations Left side body control
Musical and Artistic Awareness
Space and pattern perception
Insights and Imagination Lateralization is the separation of hemispheric functions; each hemisphere, left or right, has specialized functions Broca's Area Left hemisphere's language functions Named after the French pathologist and neurosurgeon, Broca, who discovered this area's functions.
Located in the front part of the left hemisphere.
Considered as the motor area
Specialized for speech production The speech production process,

Begins in Broca's area.

Passes through the arcuate fasciculus to the motor area.

Goes from the motor area to the articulators of speech for vocalization. Wernicke's Area Named after the German neurologist, Wernicke, who discovered this area's functions.
Located in the back part of the left hemisphere.
Considered as the auditory area
Specialized for speech comprehension The speech comprehension process,

Begins from the sound of the word

Passes through the ear to the auditory area

Goes from the auditory area to wernicke's area for comprehension. Understanding discourse and other minds.
e.g. Understanding variable pitch and tone. Right hemisphere's language functions Taking over left hemisphere's functions.
e.g. Children who had their left hemisphere surgically removed can adapt and grow up with few deficits. The Issue of lateralization in Research • Early research suggested that language functioning is strictly lateralized in the left hemisphere. Recent research has proven strict lateralization to be false, showing that both hemispheres contribute to language functions, but the left hemisphere is more prominent.


Recent research has suggested that the right hemisphere seems to add emotional context to language such as intonation, pitch and tone.


Recent research has proven that the right hemisphere can take over left hemisphere's language functions in cases such as the children of hemispherectomy. Hemispherectomy Hemispherectomy is the surgery that removes one hemisphere of the brain. Surgeons have performed it hundreds of times for brain disorders.

Children as young as three months old went through hemispherectomy and their memory and personality developed normally.

A recent study was conducted at Hopkins to investigate 111 children who underwent hemispherectomy from year 1975 to 2001. The findings show that 86 percent of them are either seizure-free or have seizures that do not disable them. The patients who still suffer seizures usually have brain damage on both hemispheres.

Another study found that children that underwent hemispherectomies often improved academically

Studies were conducted on hemispherectomy patients to investigate how their brain changes with physical recovery. Exploring how one remaining hemisphere, whether left or right, acquire language, sensory, motor and other functions could shed light on the brain's remarkable plasticity. Hemispherectomy •Children as young as three months old went through hemispherectomy and their memory and personality developed normally. A recent study was conducted at Hopkins to investigate 111 children who underwent hemispherectomy from year 1975 to 2001. The findings show that 86 percent of them are either seizure-free or have seizures that do not disable them. The patients who still suffer seizures usually have brain damage on both hemispheres. •Studies were conducted on hemispherectomy patients to investigate how their brain changes with physical recovery. Exploring how one remaining hemisphere, whether left or right, acquire language, sensory, motor and other functions could shed light on the brain's remarkable plasticity. •Hemispherectomy is the surgery that removes one hemisphere of the brain. Surgeons have performed it hundreds of times for brain disorders. Early Research Recent Research By Wejdan Fahad Alshalan The following educational video explains Split-brain effects and the difference between Left and Right Hemisphere functioning.
The video, hosted by Alan Alda, features Dartmouth University's Michael Gazzaniga, and Joe, an epileptic who had his corpus callosum severed to stop daily seizures. Cutting the corpus callosum prevented the spread of the seizures from Joe's right hemisphere to his left, but it also prevented the two hemispheres from communicating with each other. Gazzaniga outlines his classic "split-brain" research paradigm. Split-brain Effects Joe's brain has been seperated
into two halves Professor Gazzaniga has spent years studying joe's split-brain The split-brain surgery involves splitting the brain by severing the corpus callosum that connects the two hemispheres.
This surgery was a possible cure for patients of epilepsy to help them control their severe seizures.
There were early fears that this surgery would lead to awful consequences such as split-personality.
Surprisingly, the epileptic patients who had undergone the surgery seemed normal and unaware of the changes in their brains except that their seizures had lessened or stopped.
The split-brain surgery is still in use today to help epileptic patients. Split-brain In 1960s, two of the famous brain scientists Sperry and Gazzaniga, found an opportunity for research in testing the functions of hemispheres in split-brain patients.

Sperry and Gazzaniga's observations,
When the left hemisphere is functioning, split brain patients were found able to speak and write.
When they touch or see an object with their right hand or eye, the left hemisphere works to produce language and they are able to name this object.

When the right hemisphere is functioning, split brain patients were found not able to speak or write.
When they touch or see an object with their left hand or eye, they are unable to name it because the right hemisphere is separated from the left one that is responsible for speech production. Due to the severed corpus callosum, information cannot pass through from the right hemisphere to the left. Sperry and Gazzaniga, 1960s This study suggested that split brain patients who cannot produce speech in their right hemispheres may develop the ability to do so.

The subject of this study, Patient Joe, was able to understand and produce both spoken and written language with his left hemisphere. He was also able to understand language with his right hemisphere, but he was unable to speak.

Fifteen years after his surgery, Joe was found capable of naming 60% of the stimuli presented to his left visual field (LVF).

The study concluded that this late- developing speech ability seems to be the result of long-term neural plasticity. (Gazzaniga, et al., 1996) Thank You!
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